Portland’s Normandale Park has a resident that is being alleged to have killed a person and shot five altogether. Benjamin Jeffery Smith faces one murder charge, four counts of attempted murder and four counts of assault for the shooting at Normandale Park in Northeast Portland.
The FBI received information from the public regarding Benjamin Smith, the man accused of shooting five people near a Portland park last February, ahead of that shooting. The agency also said in an emailed statement that it spoke to Smith in 2021 and “no further investigative actions were taken based on the available information.”
February’s Normandale Park shooting was the 58th mass shooting of 2022, a year that has so far had more mass shootings than days. The May 24 shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, which took place on the 144th day of 2022, was the 213th mass shooting of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as four or more people injured or killed.
From the May 24 shooting in Uvalde through June 15, 62 people have been killed and 231 injured in 54 mass shootings across 20 states. For years, people reported the alleged shooter’s violent behavior and racist outbursts to the FBI, which contacted him in 2021. Law enforcement officials say they arguably don’t have as many tools as they need to prevent mass shootings.
About a year after the FBI visit, Smith allegedly shot and killed June Knightly, 60, a longtime racial justice activist who was at Normandale Park during the Feb. 19 shooting. A member of the crowd returned fire, shooting Smith, who was hospitalized in critical condition. Smith has since been released from the hospital and is being held in a Multnomah County jail. The person who shot Smith has not been charged.